Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead, anthropologist (16 Dec 1901-1978)

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. -Thomas Edison, inventor (1847-1931)

The great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. That is possible for him who never argues and strives with men and facts, but in all experience retires upon himself, and looks for the ultimate cause of things in himself. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobelist (14 Jan 1875-1965)

HUMILITY – quotes given by Mazin Qumsiyeh

“A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.” Albert Einstein

“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open
mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who
says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never
mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?” Carl Sagan

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself
vulnerable is to show your strength.” Criss Jami

“These are the few ways we can practice humility: To speak as little as
possible of one’s self.
To mind one’s own business. Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.
To avoid [negative?] curiosity. To accept contradictions and correction
cheerfully. To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries. To accept being slighted, forgotten and
disliked. To be kind and gentle even under provocation. Never to stand on
one’s dignity. To choose always the hardest.”  Mother Teresa, The Joy in
Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make
excuses about what is said of you but answer, ‘He was ignorant of my other
faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.’ Epictetus

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. -Voltaire, philosopher (1694-1778)

Every day we see or read of appalling things happening in the world as a result of violence in man.  You may say, ‘I can’t do anything about it’, or ‘How can I influence the world?’.  I think that you can tremendously influence the world if in yourself you are non-violent, if you lead actually a peaceful life.    J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, philosopher, writer (1895-1986)

Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I will not forget you. –
William Arthur Ward, college administrator, writer (1921-1994)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.  Gandhi  (1869-1948)

It is much easier to talk about hate in public than to talk about love.   Donella Meadows, environmental scientist (1941-2001)

Once you label me you negate me. -Soren Kierkegaard, philosopher (1813-1855)

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. -Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President (1882-1945)

You’ve got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave. -Billie Holiday, jazz singer and songwriter (1915-1959)  Self empathy!

Patience is also a form of action. -Auguste Rodin, sculptor (1840-1917)

Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves. -Gene Fowler, journalist and author (8 Mar 1890-1960)

Life is an adventure in forgiveness. – Norman Cousins, author and editor (1915-1990)

A sneer is the weapon of the weak. -James Russell Lowell, poet, editor, and diplomat (1819-1891)

Not everything that counts can be counted , and not everything that can be counted counts.  Albert Einstein, nuclear physicist (1879-1955)

We will not fight to save what we do not love.  -S. J. Gould,  evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. (1941-2002)

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. -Desmond Tutu, clergyman (b. 1931)

Don’t be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? -Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president (1809-1865)

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. -Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel Peace Prize (1918-2013)

A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity. -Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, Nobel laureate (b. 1924)

The real index of civilization is when people are kinder than they need to be. -Louis de Bernieres, novelist (b. 1954)

When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it, always. -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness.”
― James Thurber (1894-1961)

Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. -Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

All the time a person is a child he is both a child and learning to be a parent. After he becomes a parent he becomes predominantly a parent reliving childhood. -Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author (1903-1998)

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. – Hafiz, Persian mystic and poet (1325/26–1389/1390)

There is a field beyond all notions of right and wrong. Come, meet me there. -Rumi, poet and mystic (1207-1273)

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. -Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president, Nobel laureate (b. 1918)

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  Epictetus, philosopher (55-135 CE)


If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.  If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.  If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.  If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.  If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.  If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is.  If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.  If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.  If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.  If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.  If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.   If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.  If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.  If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.  If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are.  If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.   If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.   If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind.

With what is your child living?                                                                    Dorothy Law Nolte, family counselor. (1924 – 2005)

People change and forget to tell each other.  -Lillian Hellman, playwright (1905-1984)

Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass. -Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)

May my silences become more accurate.                                     -Theodore Roethke, poet (1908-1963)

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662)

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind – Mahatma Gandhi – Philosopher,  nonviolent protester (1869-1948)

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (11 Dec 1918-2008)

“We can only learn and advance with
contradictions. The faithful inside should meet
the doubtful. The doubtful should meet the
faithful. Human slowly advances and becomes
mature when he accepts his contradictions.”
  Shams Tabrizi (1185–1248)

More than enough is too much. – Confucius (c. 551-478 BCE)

A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.                                                               John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873)

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. -Naguib Mahfouz, writer, Nobel laureate (1911-2006)

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring. -Martin Luther King, Jr., civil-rights leader (1929-1968)

My path is the path of stopping, the path of enjoying the present
moment. It is a path where every step brings me back to my true
home. It is a path that leads nowhere. I am on my way home. I
arrive at every step.   Thích Nhất Hạnh, Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist (1926- )

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”  Mahatma Gandhi – Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest (1869-1948)

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”  David Orr, from his book Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World (1992)

“When I was a child my mother warned me Never Talk to Strangers.  I’ve been friends with strangers all my life” Di Williams, Song writer, poet (1955-?)

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

The fingers of your thoughts are molding your face ceaselessly. -Charles Reznikoff, poet (1894-1976)

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you. -Rwandan proverb

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. -Iroquois Nation maxim

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, US president (1882-1945)

The cruelest lies are often told in silence. -Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet (1850-1894)

Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them. -T.S. Eliot, poet (1888-1965)

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use. -Emily Post, author and columnist (1872-1960)

I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers. -Kahlil Gibran, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” ― Edmund Burke, Irish statesman (1729-1797) 

The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it. -George Marshall, US Army Chief, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Nobel laureate (1880-1959)

And quotes for debate:

Without the freedom to criticize, there is no true praise. -Pierre Beaumarchais, playwright (1732-1799)   (how to criticize, and how to praise…, how to use freedom)

In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated. -Margaret Halsey, novelist (1910-1997)

The truth is everyone is going to hurt you.  You just got to find the ones worth suffering for – Bob Marley (1945-1981)

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